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Optimizing Digital Experience with Ryan Purvis

George Grombacher June 9, 2022

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Optimizing Digital Experience with Ryan Purvis

LifeBlood: We talked about how best to optimize employee’s digital experience, the amount of time wasted every year due to the wrong device or programs, and how to know if your team is losing time with Ryan Purvis, Head of Solutions with Lakeside Software.  

Listen to learn why it’s imperative to measure what matters!

You can learn more about Ryan at, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review here:


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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Ryan Purvis

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:11
I’m left with this is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guests strung apart for Ryan Purvis Ryan, are you ready to do this?

Ryan Purvis 0:38
Great, thank you for having me. So I am a South African living in the UK, I’ve been working with Lakeside for 10 years,

mostly as a customer. And I’ve recently made the switch over. And we’ve been doing a lot around digital

employee experience, which is measuring what is happening on a user’s workstation to help them to do their work better and have the right tools. And that’s about you know, the right laptop, desktop or virtual machine

george grombacher 0:00
Come on

Ryan Purvis 0:18
I’m Randy, nice to meet you.

george grombacher 0:20
Nice to meet you. Right. He’s the head of solutions for Lakeside Software, they’re a global leader in digital experience monitoring, working to improve the everyday digital experiences of employees. Ryan, tell us a little about your personal life smart about your work and why you do what you do.

Ryan Purvis 1:10
using the right applications. And if they’re not using applications, taking those things off the desktop, to improve performance and experience. And as most people have now realized through a pandemic, the ability to work remotely requires having the right tools, the right connectivity, and the right access to things. And we’ve been helping companies do that with and help their employees.

george grombacher 1:34
Nice. So how does it actually work? Lakeside is is is on my machine. And it’s just observing how I’m how I’m interacting.

Ryan Purvis 1:48
Yeah, all right, so we have a cloud offering. So customers can sign up and get our cloud tenant, deploy the agents to their desktops. And then yes, the agent sits in the background, it’s monitoring real time, what the user is doing, there is anonymization built into the product, which can be switched on. But in essence, we can know which applications you’re working in how your memory your CPU your disk is behaving. And then that can be used as a way to decide whether you got the right size laptop, or bad spec. Are you not utilizing software, the right way, are the licenses we can reclaim because you haven’t used a certain version of a product. So if we said like Adobe, a lot of people think they need to have Adobe writer to create PDFs, so they pay, you know, whatever the $1,000 for their license. But in reality, you could probably get away with the built in PDF writer that comes with Windows and Adobe Reader, which is free and saving the company money. And if you’ve got 10,000 users, you know, there could be a couple million dollars that you’re saving, just just reclaiming licenses. So it says very much about making use of data to make good decisions. And that’s what our product does. We have quite a deep collection of data that we collect, and quite a wide set of touch points. So across the entire desktop, and the way we interpret that data and bring insights from that. We give decision makers good information to make good decisions.

george grombacher 3:27
And how this is obviously a big problem. Otherwise Lakeside wouldn’t exist, what what, what is the scope of the problem?

Ryan Purvis 3:35
Oh, it’s well, there’s so many use cases. I think that’s that’s where it is, if you’ve got this kind of thing in place, and I’ve worked in organizations where they don’t have it. And people are making decisions based on opinions and guesses and, and estimations. And I’ll never forget one of the one of my first weeks in a job. And one of the senior guys came and said, Should we get everyone second screens? And I said, Well, you know, if you look at the science, there’s definitely a productivity gain. But I can’t tell you without having something to measure. And that’s something we can answer that question we can tell you if someone needs a second screen straightaway. Because we see by user behavior, and what they’re doing between switching between apps, if if they’re switching between apps a lot, that probably means that they need a second screen to have one application on one screen and the other application with another screen. And they can be you know, 30 to 50% more productive with that sort of thing. Yeah, so that’s my thought.

george grombacher 4:35
Yeah, no, I appreciate that. And so just that’s that’s a good example right there. And you can actually track just how much time and we’re that could be I think you said 30%. It’s obviously going to be dependent on each individual and all that good stuff. But it works out to be like a lot of times.

Ryan Purvis 4:54
Oh, definitely. And I think there was actually a study by Microsoft and I’m talking probably 1015 years ago. or when that study came out. So and I don’t even numbers have changed that much. But I can honestly tell you that, you know, I’ve moved away from Windows to Mac. And I use my iPad as a second screen. And I noticed just by doing that, how that benefits me, if I’m sitting somewhere in a coffee shop, and I want to do something, it just makes it easier. I think there’s, there’s a comfort thing to that. So be able to make the decision to buy the right sized screens, don’t go and buy a whole bunch of little screens, efforts with people working on on graphic designs, or architectural designs or those sorts of things. And if you have knowledge workers, which which most of us are nowadays, you need to make that as easy as possible to see the information and to sort it out. So that you can make your workflow efficient.

george grombacher 5:50
So y’all will tell me, if I’m being inefficient, do you also make recommendations on how to fix the inefficiency.

Ryan Purvis 6:00
We don’t get into people’s working tape, but we will, we’ll pick up things around the system. So for example, if you open a lot applications, and you leave them and you don’t use them, so in the background, you’ve got, you know, 10, Excel spreadsheets, open a whole bunch of email messages open. That’s all using resources. So we’ll make will pop up an alert saying, you know, maybe should close on Windows, if you’ve got an application that’s using too much resource, too much memory, too much CPU, which will affect your experience, we’ll recommend that it’s closed, or we’ll even close it for you. Some of the proactive things like a disk cleanup, for example, if you’re running out of disk space, will automatically clean that up for you, that, again, helps the user and if you think about this, from a sort of wider IT service point of view, a lot of a lot of companies will use a ticket as a form of driving work that has to be done to help a user. If you avoid the ticket, you make a better experience for the user because they feel that it is on top of it. So there’s a prospective change. But also, that ticket sometimes has a cost associated to $10 $20. And again, if you can fix those, or avoid those tickets by using automation, which is you can do with our product. And you could save money, if you saving 10% of your your ticket to automation, or 20% or 30%. You multiply that by 10 $10. Now that could be depending on bigger environment is another way to reduce the cost. I wouldn’t say this is a return on investment tool where you’re going to necessarily make money out of the tool, which will save money, which helps you to spend that money elsewhere.

george grombacher 7:33
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. How is it? How is it received, I could see both ways I could see somebody who is sort of, I don’t want to call them more enlightened, but more comfortable with it saying this is awesome, it’s helpful. But I can also see somebody else saying I don’t like big brother, looking at all my work.

Ryan Purvis 7:52
Yeah, and that’s why I said the anonymization exists, and is obviously access controls. And that sort of thing to the data is specifically specifically go into areas like Germany or France, where there’s workers councils and certain regulations around that, who can see the data. So we will protect for those sorts of things. There are people at the maturity curve, I would say that that you get a certain point where you’re you’re okay with what you’re not okay with the stuff you what you think you manage it all by yourself. And then as you get to bigger problems with bigger scale issues, as you mature, it’s actually you know, what, I don’t mind if it were that that in fact, in most cases, you work in working on a corporate machine that you don’t own. So it’s no different to your boss, standing by your desk watching you work, you just got agent watching. And most of the time, we actually don’t care about what someone’s doing at nine o’clock on a Monday morning, what we care about is when that person was doing the work was the machine in a good state where they were not delayed by anything. So we have a health score, that tells you what you’re impacted on. So we might say, okay, that person worked at nine o’clock on a Monday, they had that a very slow network, because they were on Wi Fi and they were sitting at the edge of the edge of the internal coffee shop, the cafeteria, we need to go and work on the the Wi Fi in that area to improve the service. And by having the data, you can go and derive that there’s work to be done there. And then you can also check later on to see that there works extra showing value. Now that might reflect as a bunch of tickets that have been logged. Or it might might come back to five surveys to say that actually, you know, I’m really impressed with it because this was an issue for me last week, and now it’s been fixed. So a lot of this is perception management expectation management as well. I mean, I used to work in a few organizations, we we would show customers internal customer and I was working for the same business, what we were seeing, and they would appreciate that what we were showing them was was in the nuts and bolts of how the machine was working and how we were investigating their problem. And it took away this opinionated or the the machine is slow to actually the machine is not slow, you’re connected, connected connectivity slow because you’re sitting on the edge of the Wi Fi If you just went closer to the access point or, or you worked in a place that Wi Fi was better, you see, the problem would go away. And that took away that for the for the user made them feel like we had control of it, but also that the issue was being dealt with correctly. And they were making the business better. And they were getting better.

george grombacher 10:22
Yeah, and I that 100% I would rather know that and to not be frustrated by Why is my computer slow? Or why am I not getting our life, whatever it might be? I would 100% rather know that and have that information to be able to proactively just have a better experience and and a better time in terms of and this is just sort of a more general kind of a question. Is there ever too much optimization? And maybe that’s just kind of a dumb question, but I’ll throw it out there.

Ryan Purvis 10:55
Ah, no, because what we found, and having done this for a long time, is you never get you never optimize everything fully, you fix one thing, and you tend to it’s like whack a mole, sometimes you fix one thing and you break something else. Or by fixing this one thing, you don’t notice two other things you hadn’t seen before, which also needs to be fixed. So there’s always something that can be that could be improved on. And I think that’s one of the beauties of the space is that with emojis and sort of tuning, as you can see, with with empirical data, something that is changing and being affected by what you do. And often, what was happening without having these tools in the lab working organizations that haven’t had these tools, is, it’s a lot of subjective guessing, to what’s causing the problem. And that wastes a lot of time. So and then you optimizations are no good, because you really don’t know what you’re optimizing.

george grombacher 11:50
Game. I think that that makes a ton of sense. And I was just thinking this morning about just how much time we do waste, and how our minds are wandering, like half the time. And we’re constantly having to make decisions about things. And we have all these different thoughts going through our heads. So how can we do a better job of that, and without the empirical evidence that you’re talking about that I’m just kind of guessing, sort of flying by the seat of my pants kind of a thing. So I do see immense value and say, Okay, well, we know this to be a fact. And we made these changes. And this is the result in maybe it was the result we’re looking for, or we’re expecting or maybe it’s totally different.

Ryan Purvis 12:31
Yeah. And we’ve seen having the data, that it’s helped businesses make decisions, like I worked with an organization that had a big Salesforce. And they were trying to decide whether they need to actually give their Salesforce tablets or laptops. And if you look to successful salespeople, they were always on the road. And they spent a lot of time on the road doing very quick things where a tablet and app was a better fit for them than having a heavier laptop to carry around. And we could measure that and sort of justify their spin. And also the way they wind with with a tablet with it with a built in 3g, connection, etc. And using a brand like like an iPad. If that device got broken or stolen, they could replace it really easily. A person could walk into any shop and buy another iPad, and be set up again. And it’s that those kinds of tangible things that really show the value of having this information.

george grombacher 13:30
Yeah. I mean, that makes a ton of sense, like, and that’s, I’m sure a really, really, really big and expensive decision for a large organization is the difference between the laptop or a tablet, as you were just talking about? So I think that makes a ton of sense. I imagine that that certain organizations are probably too small or not.

Ryan Purvis 13:57
No, no. I mean, one of the companies I worked for was only 10 users. So that’s, that’s pretty, it’s a reasonably priced product. In that sense. I think it comes back to that maturity thing. You know, what are you looking for? What are you trying to, to provide as a service to end users. When we look at a customer, we’re trying to understand what’s important to them and why and what the value proposition is, and how we can help them. And again, it comes back to making you know, as I say, buying decisions or remote workers security comes and says, Well, we know that when our security product, but some of the information we collect and in fact, when this was when this was originally set up, we just put out something for look for j because we have all the data that we collect, we were able to detect the log for J patch issues really quickly. And we built a NSA bulletin, we’ve configured our product in a couple of days to look for the specific things to help our customers find the lock for J issues in their environment. And that’s one of the variants of having the data is when you have it all. You just need to sift through it to get the stuff or find the stuff that you need. And that’s really the part that we talked about in my team I like is finding the solution for a customer.

george grombacher 15:18
Which makes sense. I love it. All right, and the people are ready for that different speaking tip. What do you have for them?

Ryan Purvis 15:25
Well, is the theme we’ve had measure what matters? And that’s what our product does it measure what matters. And then you can make decisions on that.

george grombacher 15:34
Well, I think that that is great stuff that definitely gets caught. That’s something else I’ve been thinking a lot about. It’s that what gets measured gets managed, then you need to measure what matters. So having an understanding of these are the important things that should be focused on. And just to your point, we’ve been talking about this, you just need to know.

Ryan Purvis 15:53
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. In fact, that is one of our tagline says check nose, which is our product. So I’m glad you came up with it that lined up nicely.

george grombacher 16:04
Boom. Alright, thank you so much for coming out. Where can people learn more about you and where can they learn more about Lakeside Software?

Ryan Purvis 16:12
Great. So our website is Lakeside Software comm they can find me on LinkedIn Ryan Purvis is defined and I will say the podcast the digital workspace works where you can hear me muse about this sort of stuff on a weekly basis.

george grombacher 16:26
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did show, run your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas. Go to Lakeside, and see if it’s a good fit for your organization. Find Ryan on LinkedIn, it’s Ryan Purvis. Pu R V I S, give us the name of the podcast again, Ryan.

Ryan Purvis 16:45
Digital workspace works.

george grombacher 16:47
Digital workspace works. Love it. Thanks again, Ron.

Ryan Purvis 16:52
Thanks so much. Good to meet you.

george grombacher 16:53
Likewise, and until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

Transcribed by

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